big girl desk.

Sooooo. my associate is in first grade now. I can’t believe it.


A couple of years ago I found her this cute little desk for a dollar at a tag sale, and I painted it orange.


Alas, my rough and tumble cohort has banged it up pretty bad.  So because I had nothing else to do in the race to get ready for school I decided to give her an upgrade.  As you know I never throw anything away, and I had stashed this desk when I took it out of my teenyboopers room. Here is a picture of it when it was in her room.


It is huge and begs for clutter, and the drawers never worked properly, so I went for simple. I ditched the drawers and the keyboard thingy.  Using my table saw I cut off 11 inches on both sides and the top, effectively removing all of the schmutz that the previous owner (Ruby) got on it.


I obviously could not reuse the legs but luckily I had some extras from a million years ago from another Ikea purchase.  I then put it back together using the same holes that were already there.  I added some support with these braces that were left over from last weeks basketball hoop installation.


I attached the braces with screws and washers and reinforced it all with this Elmer’s product that I just learned works best joining two different materials.


Finally, I put the original cross support back on using regular Elmers, clamps and a few screws, to avoid the back and forth movement.  I was just imagining her standing on it, I don’t know why she is so well behaved. hee hee. For drawers I rolled in this cute little Ikea storage compartment that I have had for years and has been in almost every room of my house at one time or another. Luckily it slipped right under.  She appears to like it. I do.


clutter crusher.

I am renovating our kitchen one wall at a time.  This not only satisfies my wandering brain but we have a working kitchen at all times.  Combine that brain with a sharp need to use only recycled items and it is a looooong process. My husband has been very patient, Thanks honey.  You saw this wall a while back.


lineoluem samples as tile.

I have moved around to the next wall, actually it was a while ago. slow going. thanks honey.  I love to have a cork board so I started with that. I had to buy the cork in rolls and glue to a piece of hardy board that I cut to fit the space, making sure to cut holes for plugs and what not (that is the technical term.)  I then addressed the apparent inability of my family to keep their ducks in rows paper wise. Pile here, here, and oh yea over there.  I know Vivian is a bit young to manage her bills, but their is really no excuse for the other members of the family including myself.  So I galloped out to the garage with a new idea swarming around in my head.  I firmly tell myself “only scrap material allowed from this garage allowed in this project.”  This is good for several reasons. 1. I won’t wander off to the hardware store. 2. I won’t spend anymore money on this wall. 3. I get rid of some of the crap in my garage.

I get busy building a box with six compartments. I make sure that this box will indeed fit under my kitchen cabinet when it is done. Good job Shannon, that was a hard learned lesson. I now have my box, I painted it the same color as the kitchen walls with leftover “Witty Green” Sherwin Williams paint.  Now I have to address the issue of facing my box because I used scrap wood and the edges look rough.  Dig Dig Dig. oh look Lincoln Logs, and other less cool blocks.  Knowing full well that my associate has enough Lincoln logs to build her own log cabin I didn’t feel badly cutting them up.

A giant improvement on the table saw in the last 20 years is the blade guard. This wonderful invention keeps the wood that you remove from coming back out and taking out your eye. Nice right? Unfortunately, I had to remove my blade guard to cut the Lincoln logs in half.  I don’t recommend this at all. underline. Anyway, I cut them in half without loss of digit or eye and tacked them onto the box with my nail gun.  Now how to label them…hmmmmmm. wood burner duh. I burned the appropiate names on the logs with my handy wood engraving tool. Mom, Dad, Ruby, Viv, File, and S**T.   It looks a little rough, but It goes with the feel. I then mounted it on the wall using some brackets and sorted paper.  So far, so good

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After brazenly writing that only innocuous things take me down, I knocked on wood obviously, but I got to thinking. What the heck was I thinking?  That is like inviting danger to sit and eat lunch with you and make further plans. The very next day my favorite work shorts ripped and with great regret I decided that my fatigues were finally fatigued. Again! what was I thinking?  The very next next day while making boring repetitive cuts with my chop saw my mind wandered and I nicked the top of my finger.  Luckily, wait what am I talking about, luck has nothing to do with it. Good old superstition is what I need to run back to flailing if necessary.  Up to the studio I went like a bat out of you know where and sewed those shorts back together. PHEW…..IMG_3636

new TV!!

We have been living in our house for 10 years. It is a great house but until recently the living room was plagued by an 67 inch by 100 feet Godzilla of a television (spell check made me capitalize Godzilla.)  I felt like it was lurking behind every turn to make me cringe.  Being the patient wife that I am, I waited until my husband was ready to release it.  I wish I had a before picture.  While I was biting my tongue and surreptitiously placing best buy mailers around I worked on the new console.  Once again determined only use what I had already, I set off to make a new home for my imaginary TV. Three things I learned.  1. you need two people to cut a piece of bamboo on a table saw. 2. never start a job 6 months before it can be installed. 3. get a biscuit joiner because joining different kinds of wood just because you refuse to go buy new stuff is hard. 4. I know I only said 3,  it is hard to teach yourself to install second time around hinges. must watch more youtube.



Now we can even operate all the crap through the pegboard!    I think it turned out great for my first shot at such a long piece. My family thinks It looks like it lives in a pineapple under the sea.  It does!!!

Room fit for a teen

ruby1When I am doing a room in my own house I am only allowed to use what I already have.  I enjoy redecorating the room for sure,  but the challenge of pulling all the elements and supplies from the bottomless basement or from another room is like a life-size puzzle.  I LOVE PUZZLES.  My 13 year old daughter’s room needed a makeover.  Her budding interests and complete obsession with earrings, Pez dispensers, little monsters and being able to dance in her room were the main obstacles.  So, I went digging.  I found the wood in the garage and cut it to size using a table saw so they shelves were uniform length . I created 3 boxes using discarded drawers I found for the sides.  I bored holes through the boxes so they could be staggered on the wall to utilize the most space.  The boxes vary in height because I wanted to work in some pez and monster storage.  Glue, clamped, painted and nailed, I threaded aluminum camping poles through and mounted the whole piece on the wall. (those camping poles were  loved by my family, obviously I had to keep them for 20 years and use them) I wired green lamp, graciously given to me by a friend right through the pole to save space, and added the 5 light (also graciously given to me by a friend at least 10 years ago.) The desk is a half of bi-fold door mounted on the wall with a camp pole leg for support.  I addressed most of her issues, she loves it and has plenty of room to dance. Oh and now I have more room in the bottomless pit to fill YAY!